For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

Bill Hilf billhilf at
Fri Aug 17 05:30:31 UTC 2007


I'm unclear how some of your questions are related to our license submissions, which is what I believe this list and the submission process are designed to facilitate.  You're questioning things such as Microsoft's marketing terms, press quotes, where we put licenses on our web site, and how we work with OEMs - none of which I could find at

If you'd like to discuss this, I'd be happy to - and I have a number of questions for you about Google's use of and intentions with open source software as well.  But this is unrelated to the OSD compliance of a license, so I will do this off-list and preferably face to face or over the phone.

One question I think is related to our license submission is your question 'b' below.  If the license-discuss community feels that having the MS-CL and MS-PL posted separately from our other Shared Source licenses, I'm happy to consider doing that, if that's important to the broader community.  One of the reasons we continued to call it the "Shared Source" program was to acknowledge that these licenses had not been approved by the OSI, and some of our Shared Source licenses will not be submitted to the OSI.  But I'm open to make this more distinguishable on where/how we post the MS-CL and MS-PL on the Web site if it's important to the community.

The other license submission question you raise is about additional licenses in an era when the OSI is trying to reduce license proliferation.  There are already several hundred community projects that use these licenses, including over 150 Microsoft projects; while these are two more licenses they represent a reasonably large set of existing code, the authors and users of which would benefit from having the licenses assessed as Open Source.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris DiBona [mailto:cdibona at]
> Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:48 PM
> To: Chuck Swiger
> Cc: Matthew Flaschen; License Discuss
> Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
> I would like to ask what might be perceived as a diversion and maybe
> even a mean spirited one. Does this submission to the OSI mean that
> Microsoft will:
> a) Stop using the market confusing term Shared Source
> b) Not place these licenses and the other, clearly non-free , non-osd
> licenses in the same place thus muddying the market further.
> c) Continue its path of spreading misinformation about the nature of
> open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL?
> d) Stop threatening with patents and oem pricing manipulation schemes
> to deter the use of open source software?
> If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company
> who has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend
> a communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as
> anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness?
> Finally, why should yet another set of minority, vanity licenses be
> approved by an OSI that has been attempting to deter copycat licenses
> and reduce license proliferation? I'm asked this for all recent
> license-submitters and you are no different :-)
> Chris
> On 8/13/07, Chuck Swiger <chuck at> wrote:
> > On Aug 10, 2007, at 7:50 PM, Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> > > Chuck Swiger wrote:
> > >> Really?  Why can't you take some files which were under the MSPL
> with
> > >> others under the MSCL, build and link 'em together, and distribute
> > >> the
> > >> resulting binary together with the various source files,
> preserving
> > >> their original licensing?
> > >
> > > You can if you keep them in separate files.  But this is less
> > > compatible
> > > than e.g. BSD, which allows you to include BSD code in a file under
> > > essentially any license as long as the BSD license notice remains
> > > intact.
> >
> > True.  You've made a set of points in partial reply to me and also to
> > Donovin which are well taken, so I won't reply to each individually,
> > but I do wish to acknowledge that I agree with your position in
> > them.  :-)
> >
> > --
> > -Chuck
> >
> >
> --
> Open Source Programs Manager, Google Inc.
> Google's Open Source program can be found at
> Personal Weblog:

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